SportsNation Blog Archives MLB
MLS gaining on MLB?
A poll released by ESPN has indicated that MLS has gained significant popularity among fans 12 to 17 years old -- so much so that it's actually about as popular as MLB among said fans. The quality of play has dramatically increased in MLS over the past 18 years, and it's become capable of attracting big names seeking one final team before their retirements. It's got to be a worrying trend for MLB -- any league that starts losing young fans is looking at smaller crowds and emptier stadiums a few years down the line.
Washington Nationals in 2014?
Things didn't go according to plan for the Washington Nationals in 2013. Expected to be one of the best teams in the majors, the Nats struggled so much early that their late playoff push fell short. But it's hard to deny the talent in the nation's capital, with Stephen Strasburg -- who shined in his spring debut Tuesday -- and Jordan Zimmermann leading the rotation and Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth among the team's impressive hitters. Will Washington stay healthy and bounce back under new manager Matt Williams?
Santana signs with Orioles
For a long time, Johan Santana was perhaps the finest pitcher in baseball -- he led the majors in total ERA and strikeouts from 2004 to 2010 and was a threat to win the Cy Young Award every year. Injuries and age caught up with him, however, and he missed the entire 2013 season with a shoulder injury. Santana is attempting to make a comeback with the Orioles, signing a minor league deal with the team after the Mets bought out his contract in the offseason. Santana still could be a force if he's healthy -- he threw a no-hitter with the Mets in 2012 -- but relying on a pitcher to be 100 percent rarely works out well for anyone.
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
90 wins for the Mets?
The Mets may have disappointed their fans for two straight seasons (to be very generous), but that's not making GM Sandy Alderson or third baseman David Wright any less confident about this season. Alderson said he thinks this Mets team can win at least 90 games, a sentiment Wright agrees with. The Mets haven't won 90 games since 2006, but who knows? Maybe they won't miss Matt Harvey so much after all.
pollcenter:category=5075+90winsforthemets?Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Are Royals a sleeper in AL?
As pointed out on SweetSpot, the past five World Series winners missed the playoffs the previous season. One team dreaming of a sixth straight such occurrence: the Kansas City Royals. Of course, K.C. must get past division rivals Detroit and Cleveland first -- and MLB's longest postseason drought (the Royals last reached it in 1985). But with some savvy additions, many believe this could be the franchise's year. Is it?